8 November, 2022
Minecraft with RTX's worlds can be almost entirely traced. Lighting and effects feature unprecedented detail for the best image quality. Here's a list of all the major effects, in case you are curious or just want to learn more about the technology behind Minecraft with RTX.
Precomputed lightmaps and Image-Based Light Probes, Spherical Harmonics and Reflective Shadow Maps are used to illuminate games. Artist-placed lights can also be used to provide illumination in areas where the above techniques fail. While the results are impressive, there are several flaws to the techniques used. The biggest is that dynamic lighting does not bounce or illuminate beyond the area where it was directed.
Imagine a dark room with bright sunlight shining through a window. Traditional techniques illuminate everything that is directly illuminated by the light. However, the illuminated areas do not reflect light and therefore do not illuminate the surrounding game elements.
Path tracing allows us to accurately model the dynamic indirect diffuse lighting reflected off of surfaces in the scene. We can also have it interact with other ray-traced effects. Imagine sunlight shining into a castle through multicolored stained glass window blocks. It will reflect off the shiny marble floor and illuminate the surrounding detail. This can cause new contact hardening shadows from objects.